Thursday, February 19, 2009

Christian Behavioral Medicine Practitioner?

I was checking my email to see who was disturbed enough to follow me on Twitter, and I found that I am now being followed by @mdcounselor. So I followed @mdcounselor back.

It turns out that @mdcounselor is George Trimble, M.D. of Dallas, whose Twitter profile says he is a "Christian behavioral medicine practitioner."

I followed the link on his Twitter page...and ended up at an "under construction" notice. But Trimble wrote it in good humor:

Under Construction -- please drop back by. I know. I'll never see you again. C'est la vie, mon ami.

Trimble sounds depressed. He should see a Christian behavioral medicine practitioner.

Which reminds me - what IS a Christian behavioral medicine practitioner?

A Google search shows that Trimble is the only person who advertises himself in this way.

So, taking a step back, let's see what a behavioral medicine practitioner is. Here's what the state of Minnesota says:

Under administrative direction, provides technical consultation and direction to a broad spectrum of other clinicians, including medical specialists, psychologists, nurses, therapists and community health care providers in a specialized field of clinical psychology such as Adolescent Psychology, Behavioral Psychology, Neuro-Psychology or Forensics. Designs, develops, implements and evaluates psycho-social based treatment programs for clinically complex clients, including those with multiple diagnoses, conflicting diagnoses and unidentified disabilities. Testifies in court proceedings as an expert witness. Performs related work as required.

The Behavioral Medicine Practitioner provides specialized consultation to treatment teams in multiple programs serving a specific disability group (e.g. Mental Illness, Chemical Dependency, DD, etc.) at multiple facilities within a geographic region of service. It designs specialized treatment programs and directs the implementation of these strategies in multiple facilities within a region. It is also responsible for directing outcome analysis for programs within the specialty area, developing and delivering training in specialized assessment or treatment strategies for medical staff; directing and implementing quality improvement strategies and developing and monitoring utilization management.

The level of technical knowledge required for this position is typically acquired through additional specialized experience and educational training beyond that required for a Ph.D. in Psychology. Specialized certification is preferable.

You can probably tell that a human resources specialist (with appropriate degrees) wrote the text above. But the text below was written by an actual BMP - in Texas, no less. Dr. Greg Hupp:

Behavioral Medicine is the interdisciplinary field concerned with the
development and integration of behavioral, emotional, psychological, social, and medical knowledge and techniques relevant to the understanding of health and illness, and the application of this knowledge and these techniques to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

So presumably my good Twitter buddy Trimble also integrates Christian belief into his practice. He's not the only one - Phil Monroe is a Christian psychologist who has a blog.

But he's not from Texas.

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